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Palestine's Land Defense Coalition

by Stephen Lendman

November 13, 2013

Separate and unequal is official Israeli policy. So is rampant land theft. It's stolen for Jews only construction. Palestinians are displaced in the process.

Their homes are bulldozed and destroyed. They're ethnically cleansed from their own land. A previous article discussed Settlement Watch.

It's a Peace Now initiative. It provides updated information on Israeli settlement construction. Continuing it prevents peace.

Stop the Wall is a "Palestinian movement against Israel's Separation) Wall and the settlements under Israeli repression."

It wants construction stopped, portions built dismantled, confiscated lands returned, and compensation paid for losses.

Land Defense Coalition (LDC) is a Stop the Wall (STW) anti-occupation initiative. 

It's a "popular movement to strengthen the resilience of the population in areas targeted by the Israeli Occupation Forces, and to build grassroots actions and international solidarity in order to confront the Israeli occupation, the settlement project and their implications."

Israel wants all valued Judea and Samaria areas. It wants Jerusalem as its exclusive capital. It wants conflict and instability maintained. It deplores peace, equity and justice.

It wants Palestinians denied self-determination. It wants them occupied. It wants them ruthlessly exploited. It wants them denied all rights.

It wants puppet Palestinian governance serving Israeli interests. It wants legitimate Palestinian representatives denied participation. 

It wants pre-selected ones held "hostage to the aligned positions of Israel," America and EU nations. It wants them unable to represent their people effectively.

Despite 80,000 security personnel at the PA's disposal, settlers and Israeli forces attack Palestinians freely.

The PA and "associated bodies" it controls reflect "paralysis and marginalization," says STW/LDC. Its failure prevents "a united" anti-occupation "strategy."

Palestine's economy is totally dependent on Israel. It controls movement, borders, air space, resources, trade and virtually everything else economically and politically related.

PA corruption, crony capitalism, high salaries and expenses, as well as onerous taxes burden ordinary Palestinians oppressively.

"Rather than strengthening (their) ability to resist" Israeli occupation and settlement construction, PA officials pay "more attention to (their) fiscal" priorities. 

Impoverished Palestinians are forced to finance them. "(F)armers have to pay taxes." In recent years, fuel and other commodity taxes doubled.

People have to borrow to get by. They're held hostage to bankers. Abbas and other privileged elites hold monopoly power "over what remains of (Palestinian) wealth."

They prioritize self-interest. They do it at the expense of their own people. They're a "major obstacle" to growth, development, trade and self-determination.

Israel maintains "full control over water and land resources, agriculture, marketing, tourism and gas."

All of the above contributes to Palestine's disintegrating social fabric. A chasm exists between "a small extremely wealth elite" and ordinary Palestinians. 

Earlier middle class society barely exists. Impoverished Palestinians and working poor ones replaced it.

Oslo facilitated social solidarity and collectivity erosion. It once reflected the backbone of Palestinian resistance.

People now have no say. They're excluded from decision-making. They're disillusioned with PA governance. Collaboration with Israel sold them out.

Occupation harshness without legitimate representation increasingly denies normal daily life activities. They're practically gone altogether.

Conditions call for consummate commitment. They require unified "efforts to strengthen the resolve of communities to (retain) their land, document (occupation crimes), seek justice (best they can), and mobilize world public opinion" on behalf of their liberation struggle.

In late 2012, two important events occurred:

(1) Gaza's "resilience" to resist.

(2) General Assembly Member States granting Palestine non-member observer status. Half a loaf was better than nothing.

Palestine deserves full UN membership. It's entitled to all rights and privileges afforded other Member States. Getting them is simple. It should have happened years ago. 

Palestine satisfies all essential criteria. On November 15, 1988, it achieved statehood. Security Council vetoes can't prevent UN admission. General Assembly Member States have sole authority. 

A two-thirds majority admits full de jure members. Enough support easily exists. Abbas has lots of explaining to do for not seeking it.

He sought watered-down status instead. He cheated his people in the process. He denied them rights they deserve.

They permit joining specialized UN agencies. They include the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Law of the Sea Treaty (LST), NPT, International Court of Justice (ICJ), and International Criminal Court (ICC).

They give Palestine control of its territorial waters, air space and borders it wishes to establish. 

Suing Israel and its officials is permitted. By or after 2017, it can be for crimes of war, against humanity and genocide.

Abbas sold out at Oslo. He collaborated against his own people. He's Israel's enforcer. He supports occupation harshness.

Israel rigged his election. It made him president. His term expired in January 2009. He lacks legitimacy. He lives a privileged lifestyle. He's extremely wealthy. He accumulated riches the old-fashioned way. He stole them.

He's near retirement. He doesn't want to spoil things now. He permits settlement construction to continue unobstructed. He permits increasing amounts of Palestinian land theft.

He enforces longstanding pain and suffering. He impedes real peace in our time. He mocks a legitimate process. He's in bed with what demands rejection.

He's a duplicitous traitor. He cares only about his own status and welfare. He's a pathetic spent force. Palestinians en masse should rebel. They should demand his resignation.

They're on their own to resist for change. Hopefully they're resolute enough to try. Doing so requires unity. It demands sustained commitment. 

It requires redoubling efforts against Israeli repression. It means going all out for what's right. 

The Land Defense Coalition (LDC) is a "coordinating" grassroots body. It works cooperatively with "people on the ground."

It promotes "cooperation." It "pool(s) resources." It coordinates efforts against occupation harshness challenges.

It strengthens the will to resist. It creates "synergies." It confronts settler attacks. Success depends on sound "financial management, media outreach, public relations, lobbying and advocacy."

Its members include:

Palestinian Farmers Union

The Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

The General Union of public institutions for workers in the food and agricultural industries

The youth movement (Youth for a Free Palestine)

The Center for Social Development

The Association for  Rights of the farmers and for the preservation of the environment

Its "vision and aims" include working together for a common purpose. It's about defending Palestinian "political, social and economic rights."

It's reinforcing a spirit of unity and cooperation. It's coordinating against occupation harshness challenges.

It's about farmers' steadfastness to retain their land. It's about using it productively.

It's about preventing village displacements. It's about stopping further confiscated land. It's about regaining what was lawlessly stolen.

It's about building and maintaining resilience. It's doing so no matter what. It's about assuming big risks. It's doing it because it matters.

It's struggling for inalienable rights until gaining them. It's staying the course longterm.

It's about freedom from "colonialism, imperialism, capitalist exploitation, racism and other forms of discrimination."

It's about ending international complicity with Israeli ruthlessness. It's about long denied liberation. It's about fundamental freedoms too important to compromise.

A Final Comment

On October 3, Land Defense Coalition (LDC) announced collective efforts on behalf of beleaguered Palestinian farmers.

It did so ahead of olive harvesting activities. It's harder each year. Settler attacks intensify. 

Palestinians security forces do nothing to stop them. Extremist elements strangle West Bank Palestinian communities.

Farmers struggle best they can. They resist settler violence. They won't be forced off their land. They harvest in the face of settler and Israeli security force viciousness.

LDC asked volunteers to help. They're needed to complete harvest. They'll bear witness to events on the ground. They'll document them for world officials.

Collectivism symbolizes Palestinian resistance, "steadfastness and solidarity."

International activists are needed. So are students and others able to help. Farmers need all they can get. Justice struggles aren't easy. 

It bears repeating. Fundamental freedoms are too important to compromise. Long denied ones matter most.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."


:: Article nr. 102579 sent on 14-nov-2013 14:26 ECT


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